5 Details From Chanel’s AW19 Show That Were Indelibly Karl Lagerfeld

Karl’s legacy loomed large over Chanel’s latest summit .

Chanel aw19

by Lucy Morris |
Updated on

Cara Delevingne came out of ‘retirement’, Penelope Cruz closed the show and Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer took part in a moment of silence as Chanel debutedKarl Lagerfeld’s final collection this morning. On the last day of Paris Fashion Week, this was the final act of the German designer’s vision for the haute couture label.


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1. The Muses

With Kristen Stewart, Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson and Claudia Schiffer stationed on the front row and Cara Delevigne and Kaia Gerber on the catwalk, the Kaiser's final show was a reunion of his muses. Last October Penélope Cruz was enveloped into the haute couture house' family as a brand ambassador and today she made her debut, walking the catwalk with a single white rose in her hand, perhaps to signify the presence of the late designer.

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2. The Soundtrack

After Largerfeld's death in February scores of tributes poured in, including a heartfelt statement by Claudia Schiffer who wrote, 'Karl was my magic dust, he transformed me from a shy German girl into a supermodel. He taught me about fashion, style and survival in the fashion business. What Warhol was to art, he was to fashion; he is irreplaceable.' Recently on Chanel's 3.55 podcast Lagerfeld told Monocle's editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé, 'My job is to propose a fantasy' but in many attendees eyes, the designer made fantasy a reality. Poignantly David Bowie's Heroes filtered through the sound system as the catwalk show came to a close.

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3. The Vision

Inside the cavernous Grand Palais, the site of so many spectacular sets devised by the late designer - like a Japanese garden, a Stepford Wives' supermarket and a spaceship - an Alpine mountain village was built. It was a vivid winter wonderland, complete with log cabins with smoking chimneys and powdered snow. No detail was left off, including a pair of Chanel skis (limited edition from 2006) dug into the snow. The clothes matched the theme - puffer jackets and snow boots, ski lift handbags, puffball white skirts and fuzzy jumpers - but in classic Kaiser Karl fashion, the vision was forward facing. He proposed new ways of integrating the label's famous tweed and pearls, thought up a new method of styling pedal pushers and layered necklaces as well as set a new chorus of colours (kingfisher blue, scarlet, coral and turquoise) on course for trending next season.

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4. The Finale

Emotion's reached a breaking point with two models wiping away tears as they broke the standard formation and walked the final round of the catwalk as a group. The tears transformed into cheers with Cara leading at the front making peace signs.

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5. The Legacy

While Karl's long-term right-hand-woman Virginie Viard has been appointed to continue his vision, she let his absence be emphatically felt with the audience gifted an illustration scribed with 'The Beat Goes On'. And that is exactly what happened.

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